Hard pruning santolinas

IMG_8034My hands are lightly scented with cotton lavender. It’s a pungent mediterranean waft. Not unpleasant, but penetrating.

So thank goodness I was able to share the load today.


Jilly was wielding the secateurs side by side in the barn garden this afternoon.


And boy did this job go swiftly with two. We had these shrubs cut back in no time.

IMG_8042It’s a brutal job – you have to grab hanks of plant and flower and just hack and hack until the shrub looks like a shorn sheep.

But early summer is peak flop season for these plants. I did try to cut some back. That was mid June. I had hoped that if half of the volume of plants was removed, then the flowers on the rest of the shrub could stay upright.

But no. Unless you plant this fantastic variety; (santolina chamaecyparissus – had to look it up as it never stays in my brain)


….you will get unwieldy shrubs.


So things will look a bit forlorn in the barn garden for a few weeks. But that’s okay. At least now I don’t have to avert my gaze.

IMG_8049And as a bonus, I have Alice’s path mulched with a delightfully scented with prunings. I might even enjoy kneeling down on this part of the garden transplanting iris next week.